U.S. sailor to crew on speed sailing attempt

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The crew of the racing yacht Maserati, led by skipper Giovanni Soldini, set sail Thursday from Cadiz, Spain, in an attempt to establish a new record for the Cadiz-San Salvador crossing.

Maserati's first record challenge is an Atlantic crossing of 3,884 miles.

Among the crew is American Brad Van Liew, who has a notable history with Soldini. Both competed in the Around Alone race of 1998-99, when extreme weather in the Southern Ocean forced Soldini to the rescue of a capsized fellow competitor (Isabelle Autissier) and Van Liew to a dismasting.

"It is exciting to be working with my old friend Giovanni," said Van Liew. "It is a wonderful collaborative effort and a fresh, new type of sailing for me. It takes me back to my crewed racing roots which is an exciting departure from my solo sailing competitions. I welcome the race against time."

The record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati's new website (www.maserati.soldini.it). The site contains news, videos and photos of the crew' life on board, and provides continuous monitoring of the marine weather conditions, as well as online tracking to check the position and speed of Maserati in real time.

Continuous updates are also available on Facebook (through Giovanni Soldini's official page, with more than 10,000 likes) and Twitter (@giovannisoldini, 56,000 followers; @borisherrmann; Brad Van Liew @TeamLazarus).